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Warwick District faces necessary 30% taxi fare increase to keep the service viable

Warwick District Council has come under scrutiny as it proposes a 30% increase in taxi fares, marking the first adjustment since 2014.

Former council leader and Conservative group chief Cllr Andrew Day expressed concerns over the abrupt nature of the rate hike, suggesting a more gradual implementation could ease community tensions.

Hackney carriages in Warwick currently charge £3.40 for the first 700 yards during daytime hours, with additional fees for distance and waiting time. This proposed rise would increase the cost of a standard two-mile journey from £6 to £7.65 starting in May 2024, pending public feedback and subsequent council approval.

According to Kenilworth Nub News, Cllr Day highlighted the potential impact on rural residents and those facing financial hardships, proposing a phased introduction of the new tariffs. Meanwhile, Cllr Judy Falp defended the decision, citing the prolonged interval since the last fare update and the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. She argued for the necessity of the increase to ensure taxi drivers receive fair compensation amidst escalating living costs.

The debate is set to continue as the council's cabinet, consisting of Green and Labour councillors, revaluates the proposal following public consultation.

Cllr Jessica Harrison noted that while the percentage increase seems steep, the actual monetary change is modest but crucial for the welfare of taxi drivers and the quality of service provided to the community.

The fare adjustment aims to align with the cumulative Consumer Prices Index including Housing (CPIH) rate increase of 27.7% observed between 2014 and 2023. The new tariff would not only accommodate the inflation rates but also allow for a modest growth margin for 2024.

The consultation process, conducted online from 18 December 2023 to 15 January 2024, saw a 57% response rate from licensed Hackney Carriage operators. Participants were asked to suggest appropriate fare increases, with proposals ranging from 20% to over 50%. The final 30% increase proposal aims to strike a balance between maintaining a viable taxi service and safeguarding consumer affordability.


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